August 28, 2002

Laxman leads Indian revival at Derby

India recovered from a poor start to take the first day honours in their tour match at Derby. After being reduced to 62 for three this morning, they fought back to end the day on 301 for five thanks to consistent contributions from VVS Laxman, Wasim Jaffer, Ajay Ratra and Rahul Dravid.

Virender Sehwag missed out on useful practice ahead of the final Test at The AMP Oval next week, bowled offering no shot to Neil Gunter after a breezy 19. Sanjay Bangar (17) and Shiv Sunder Das (18) then took the score to 58 before Bangar fell, caught at second slip by Dominic Hewson driving at Jason Kerr. When Das was yorked by Matthew Dowman four runs later, Derbyshire were fancying their chances.

Laxman then embarked on the knock that bonded the Indian innings. He put on 102 with Jaffer, who was just one short of his half century when he was caught behind by Christopher Warn off Kerr. Laxman was out in similar fashion, trying to cut, after making 75 (146 balls, 15 fours) after adding another 69 runs with Ratra, who then shared another productive partnership, this time with Dravid.

Ratra had reached 50 and Dravid 40 by stumps; the two can add to their partnership of 68 tomorrow.